NBCUniversal eyes buying Walmart’s Vudu streaming service

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Vudu Apple TV
The peacock network might buy Vudu.
Photo: Vudu

Walmart is allegedly looking to sell its video-streaming service Vudu right as the streaming wars are starting to heat up.

NBCUniversal is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire Vudu from Walmart, which could give the company another valuable asset as it prepares to launch the Peacock streaming network in a couple of months.

Vudu allows users to rent and buy movies digitally. It’s more like an iTunes store competitor than Apple TV+ rival. The company launched a free ad-supported service in 2016 with thousands of movies and TV shows but doesn’t make its own content. Walmart bought the company in 2010 for $100 million.

NBCUniversal looks to level up

Adding Vudu to its portfolio would give NBCUniversal a complimentary product to offer alongside Peacock. Walmart claims Vudu is installed on over 100 million devices. That’s nowhere near as big as the 1.4 billion active Apple devices that can buy and rent movies through iTunes, but it gives NBCUniversal and its parent company Comcast another big revenue stream.

Peacock is set to launch in July with both ad-supported and ad-free tiers. The version with ads will cost $5 per month while the premium tier will be $10 per month. The company says the free tier will have 7,500 hours of programming and the premium tier will have double that.

NBCUniversal will have plenty of competitors ready to shoot Peacock out of the sky. AT&T is planning to launch HBO Max in May to take on Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. With all these services cropping up, not every company is going to be a winner.